The prompt for week 5 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge is Census. Here’s my census story.
My paternal grandmother, Goldie PRICE HEISER, died at an early age on January 1, 1919, leaving behind three young children (Charlie-5, Dot-3, and Mary-1). The family was living in Washington, D.C. at the time of her death.
Charlie, my father, went to stay with his deceased mother’s parents in Frederick, Maryland. My father’s father, Daniel Wilbert HEISER (1882-1974), took the girls and went to York, Pennsylvania where his parents lived.
Here was Dan mourning to loss of his wife and caring for these two little girls. My father said that the girls went to a foundling home with the understanding that Dan would come back to get them. They were not to be adopted out.
When I first heard this it seemed crazy to me, but I’ve studied that time period since. It’s not a crazy notion to me anymore. Dan’s parents both worked, so there was no one to take care of the girls, and there was no daycare in those days.
I don’t know when the girls went to the founding home, actually the Children’s Home of York and York County. But I do know when they left it because of the 1920 census.
The children’s home was counted in the census on 19 Jan 1920. See below where Dot and Mary are listed in that count.
Eight days later, on 27 January 1920, the girls are listed with their father, Dan HEISER, and his wife, Maria. Dan and Maria had married late in 1919. It was a blended family as Dan and Maria were both widowed and had children already at the time of the marriage.
The census confirms what my dad told me about Dot and Mary, and it gives me the month and year when the girls left the children’s home. My dad, Charlie, was raised by his grandparents in Frederick. No one knows why he didn’t go to live with his father and stepmother.
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